We’ve all heard of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE… But what about MISSION: POSSIBLE? Today I want to share with you your mission…should you choose to accept it. You are an agent, and you have a mission. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but there is a greater purpose in this mission than just going to church, seeing your friends and hearing a nice little Bible message. This mission is not merely a matter of life or death…this mission is about eternity.
If you attend Motor City Church, you may have noticed some signs we have in key spots. On those signs are four things:
And, the fourth is MAKE A DIFFERENCE. There is a famous phrase, “Preach the gospel at all times… If necessary use words.” Well it’s necessary. If Jesus is the only name under heaven by which we might be saved, we’re going to have to actually say it out loud.
Jesus said the kingdom is now. Our job is not simply to get people into eternity when they die. It is to help them see that Heaven has come to earth and we can have the Holy Spirit in our lives to help us every day. Let’s not leave the newborn Christian babies in the pediatric ward and walk away. If we care about them, we will help them learn to walk and learn to talk and help them grow. You remember what you teach, so it’s important that you are teaching others what you know. I also think you’ll never grow faster in your faith than when you are helping someone else grow in their faith. It’s your job to make disciples and to teach them what Jesus commanded us. Then those you have discipled go out and do the same, and the mission continues.
“So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields” (Matthew 9:38 NLT). Jesus told us to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send some workers into the field. I find it fascinating since He was actually talking to the workers. Why didn’t He just tell them, “Go work”? I believe it’s the same reason He told the church to be His witnesses, but to wait for the Holy Spirit before they went. If this mission depends on me, we’re in trouble. It’s true of you, too. But, with God, all things are possible.
I think there’s a second part to that "pray” word. The vast majority of people around us believe in God…or at least they say they do. One of the easiest things we can do to build a bridge to our friends is to ask them what they would like us to pray for. People who would never accept an invite to church are many times open to prayer.
OK, listen. The agency is hiring, and you don’t even need an interview! You were uniquely designed for this mission. God has hardwired you to do this mission and to be fulfilled by it. You are the best person for the job. Are you ready? Will you accept the mission?
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT).
We love verse eight and nine about how God does something for us. By grace we’ve been saved. We are so grateful. We didn’t earn it and don’t deserve it. But then there’s verse 10. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things (the mission) he planned for us long ago.” This is the part of the deal that you are saved from something…for something. God has something He has prepared in advance for us to do. It’s what you were made for, but don’t worry. God has already given you everything you need to fulfill the mission. So here is your mission, should you choose to accept it.
Mother Teresa said, “I want you to be concerned about your next-door neighbor. Do you know your next-door neighbor?” This is for everyone, whether you have been a Christian for 30 years or 30 days. When Jesus was asked to define the greatest commandment he replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:37 NLT). This was pretty obvious to His audience, and should be obvious to us as well, but He didn’t stop there. “This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:38-40 NLT).
In other words everything that you need to know about following God can be summed up in these two ideas: love God, love your neighbors. We are all called to do ministry. Who is in a better position to show love to your neighbor than you? Who has a better opportunity to show kindness to your kid’s teacher, or to pray for your coworkers, or to share with your personal trainer the greatest news ever to come down to the human race?
Jesus left these words when he went back to Heaven,“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts of the Apostles 1:8 NLT). The ends of the earth are full of excitement, and other places in our own country—Judea and Samaria—are impressive, but Jesus gave us the charge to go to Jerusalem first. If we’re not careful, we will run the risk of simply paying for missions everywhere else instead of engaging in missions here, and we can’t afford to do it anymore. We’re losing ground at home.
I love the story of the woman who met Jesus at the well. She had been married five times, and was living with a man that she wasn’t even married to. She met Jesus, and from the tone of her question to Him, it was pretty obvious she had never been to Bible school. And yet she went back to her village and told the town to come and meet Jesus. She was a witness…and the Bible says the whole village came to see Him. She was qualified because she had met Jesus. One woman, one very simple story of what happened to her…that is lifestyle evangelism.
I believe the world is more ready to receive the good news than we are ready to give it, and that has to change. Listen, salt does no good in the shaker. We should be looking around every day and reaching out to those over the fence of our own backyard. We were made for this mission.
So this is your mission...should you choose to accept it. Reach out to your neighbor...invite them to church. Bring them next week. IT IS MISSION POSSIBLE.